Gomphaeschna antilope - (Hagen, 1874)
Taper-tailed Darner
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gomphaeschna antilope (Hagen, 1874) (TSN 101636)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117007
Element Code: IIODO20010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Dragonflies and Damselflies
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Odonata Aeshnidae Gomphaeschna
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.
Concept Reference Code: A99PAU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Gomphaeschna antilope
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Jun1990
Global Status Last Changed: 01Jun1990
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (01Jun1990)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNR), Delaware (S1), District of Columbia (SH), Florida (S4), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (SNR), Maryland (S2), Massachusetts (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (S1), Pennsylvania (SH), Rhode Island (SU), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S4), Virginia (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: It ranges south to Florida, north to Massachusetts and west from New Jersey to Ohio (Barlow et al., 2009).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: In Alabama this species is rare and might occur statewide, but populations and localities are very limited; probability of finding additional populations is greater in the southern half of the state. Known from Baldwin, Bibb, Covington, Escambia, Mobile (Bick and Bick 1983), and Tuscaloosa (Bick and Bick 1983) counties (Tennessen et al., 1995). IN Jew Jersey, it is known from most counties on the Coastal Plain with a historic record from Newfoundland, Passaic Co. (possible mis-ID) (Barlow et al., 2009).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: It ranges south to Florida, north to Massachusetts and west from New Jersey to Ohio (Barlow et al., 2009).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE Sussex (10005)*
FL Charlotte (12015), Collier (12021), Flagler (12035), Hernando (12053), Levy (12075), Polk (12105), Sarasota (12115), Washington (12133)
MD Anne Arundel (24003), Caroline (24011), Prince Georges (24033)
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Delaware (42045)*, Philadelphia (42101)*, Venango (42121)*
RI Washington (44009)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+
02 Lower Delaware (02040202)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Choptank (02060005)+, Patuxent (02060006)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+*
03 Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+, Peace (03100101)+, Sarasota Bay (03100201)+, Alafia (03100204)+, Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
05 Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+*, Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Pond-Breeding Odonates

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens ideally with evidence of on-site breeding (teneral adults, mating pairs, territorial males, ovipositing females, larvae, or exuviae) at a given location with potential breeding habitat. Although oviposition may not necessarily yield progeny that survive to adulthood (Fincke, 1992) and movements resembling oviposition may not necessarily result in egg deposition (Okazawa and Ubukata, 1978; Martens, 1992; 1994), presence of on-site oviposition is here accepted as an indicator of a minimum element occurrence because the time and effort involved in determining success of emergence is beyond the scope of the general survey. As adults of some species might disperse moderate distances (see below), only sites with available larval habitat can be considered appropriate for a minimum occurrence. Single, non-breeding adults captured away from potential suitable breeding habitat should not be treated as element occurrences. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information. A photograph may be accepted as documentation of an element occurrence for adults only (nymphs and subimagos are too difficult to identify in this manner) provided that the photograph shows diagnostic features that clearly delineate the species from other species with similar features. Sight records, though valuable, should not be accepted as the basis for new element occurrences. Instead, such records should be utilized to further study an area to verify the element occurrence in that area.
Separation Barriers: Within catchments there are likely no significant barriers to movement of sexually mature adults between microhabitats, with even extensive sections of inappropriate waterway or major obstructions to flow being readily traversed by adults within the flight season.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: Adults odonates are known to wander, some over great distances (not so for damselflies). Mass migration over great distances is not herein considered when drafting separation distances as such behavior is limited to few species (e.g. Anax junius, Libellula quadrimaculata, other Libellula spp., Sympetrum spp.), occurs unpredictably and infrequently (10 year cycles for L. quadrimaculata), are unidirectional or intergenerational (Freeland et al., 2003), or occurs under unusual circumstances such as irritation by trematode parasites (Dumont and Hinnekint, 1973) or major weather events (Moskowitz et al., 2001; Russell et al., 1998).

Corbet (1999) estimated average distance traveled for a commuting flight (between reproductive and foraging sites) to be less than 200 m but sometimes greater than one km. Pond-breeding odonates may wander but generally stay within a few km of their emergence pond. At the species level, overall range (and dispsersal capability) tends to be larger than for lotic species possibly in response to greater instability of lentic versus lotic habitat over time (Hof et al., 2006). Distribution is often limited in response to presence or absence of predators (also dependent on habitat permanence) (McPeek, 1989; Stoks and McPeek, 2003a; 2003b). At night and during inclement weather, adult Procordulia grayi roosted at least one km away from the reproductive site (Rowe, 1987). Conrad et al. (1999) listed maximum dispersal distance of Sympetrum sanguieneum at 1.2 km but at 800 m or less with high dispersal rate between ponds for other species (Ischnura elegans, Coenagrion puella, C. pulchellum, Lestes sponsa, Enallagma cyathigerum, and Pyrrhosoma nymphalis). Michiels and Dhondt (1991) cited dispersal distance of Sympetrum donae in Belgium at greater than 1.75 km and most mature adults immigrated away from the emergence site. Moore (1986) cited several species of Enallagma as dispersing 2.7 km and found no colonization of artificial acid water ponds in eastern England constructed at least 5 km from colonized natural ponds in 12 consecutive years (single introduced population of Ceriagrion tenellum not surviving past the second generation). Purse et al. (2003) found mature adults of the rare European damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale, had a low rate of movement within continuous habitat (< 25 m), low emigration rates (1.3 to 11.4%), and low colonization distances (max. 1 km), comparable to other similarly sized coenagrionids.

Even within genera, however, differences in dispersal patterns may exist. McPeek (1989) found the mechanisms causing Enallagma movements between Michigan lakes were due to propensity to leave natal lakes, not active selection of different habitats (e.g. lakes with fish, without fish, or winterkill lakes with fish part-year). With the exception of winterkill lake species (Enallagma ebrium), species in lakes with fish (E. geminatum, E. hageni) and fishless lake species (E. boreale, E. cyathigerum), moved little or not at all away from natal lakes; even those less than 10 m apart. Natural selection may favor remaining at natal lakes where ecological conditions are constant and dispersal costs (i.e. mortality) high (McPeek, 1989). Uncharacteristic movement of E. ebrium away from natal lakes is explained by recolonization of lakes in which populations have been reduced or eliminated and reproducing when winterkill of fish populations changes a lake to the fishless condition.

Considering the above tendency for pond breeding odonates to remain at or near (order of hundreds of meters) natal emergence sites, separation distance has been set at 3 km.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: The few studies determining area of adult foraging habitat surrounding breeding sites have indicated a range of 30 meters to 300 meters [see Briggs (1993) for Enallagma laterale; Corbet (1999) for Nesciothemis nigeriensis and Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; Beukeman (2002) for Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; and Samways and Steytler (1996) for Chorolestes tessalatus]. As a result, an element occurrence should include the breeding site and surrounding pond or upland habitat extending 500 m in a radius from the breeding site.
Date: 12Feb2007
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Barlow, A.E., D.M. Golden, and J. Bangma. 2009. Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife: Flemington, New Jersey. 285 pp.

  • Krotzer, R.S, J.T. Bried, M.J. Krotzer. 2008. The Odonata of Mississippi. Bulletin of American Odonatology 10(4):65-91.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2014. Database of odonate records by county for northeastern U.S. states. Data contributors available: http://nynhp.org/OdonataNE.

  • Nikula, B.J., J.L. Sones, and J.R. Trimble. 2001. New and notable records of Odonata from Massachusetts. Northeastern Naturalist, 8(3): 337-342.

  • Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.

  • Paulson, D.R., and S.W. Dunkle. 2009. A checklist of North American Odonata including English name, etymology, type locality, and distribution. Originally published as Occasional Paper No. 56, Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound, June 1999; completely revised March 2009. Online. Available: http://www.odonatacentral.org/docs/NA_Odonata_Checklist_2009.pdf.

  • Tennessen, K. J., J. D. Harper, and R. S. Krotzer. 1995. The distribution of Odonata in Alabama. Bulletin of American Odanotology 3(3):49-74.

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